Thursday, January 18

Distant Replay: Nassar Case Veering In Wrong Direction

Unfortunately, the lessons that should have been learned from the Sandusky scandal were lost in favor of the false narrative that PSU officials knew a pedophile was in their midst and covered it up to preserve the reputation of the University and its football program.  It appears we are in for a replay in the Larry Nassar case.

Ray Blehar
January 18, 2018, 12:10 PM EST

They "knew."

Everyone "knew."

As preposterous as it may seem, the media (ESPN, The Detroit News, et al) once again is propagating a false narrative that Michigan State University (MSU) officials, those at USA Gymnastics, and other organizations that Larry Nassar used to perpetrate child sexual victimization all "knew" what Nassar was doing.

Yes, many female athletes, some of them children, complained to MSU athletic officials, USA Gymnastics officials, and, yes, their stories are compelling and heart-breaking.

However, we are hearing those stories with the benefit of hindsight.  Nassar confessed and was convicted of being a serial child molester.

Did all of those people, who are the subjects of the media onslaught, actually "know" Nassar was a child molester at the time of the allegations?   Were they all turning a blind eye to Nassar's abuse?

Of course not.

ESPN called them "enablers."  And that's wrong.

The fact is that nearly all the people who were informed were not medical professionals and were not equipped or qualified to determine if Nassar's manipulation of the girls was a legitimate medical procedure or not.  All they knew was that Nassar had a great reputation as an osteopathic doctor.

Some of the other people who received reports about Nassar were the parents of the victims.  They didn't believe Nassar was doing anything wrong -- even the parent who sat in on one of Nassar's treatment sessions.

Were the parents turning a blind eye too?  Were they enablers?

Of course not.

Allegations and Credibility

There's a big difference receiving an allegation and finding the allegation credible (or "knowing").

The headline reads: "What MSU knew..."

An incorrect assumption that immediately connotes guilt and sensationalizes the story.

A proper headline would say:  "What MSU was told..."

MSU hired attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to conduct an internal review.   I have no reason to doubt him when he wrote:

"We believe the evidence will show that no MSU official believed Nassar committed sexual abuse prior to newspaper reports in late summer 2016."

The Lansing State Journal (LSJ) characterized Fitzgerald's statement as being contradicted by the testimony of the victims.  And the LSJ is dead wrong.

This goes to the heart of Pillar of the Community offender cases.  Allegations against these individuals are dismissed because of their stellar reputation in the community. 

The allegations simply seem too incredible to be believed.

Those who receive the reports are of the mindset that the accuser must have misunderstood what was happening or perhaps they had an ax to grind with the accused.

Distant Replay - This Is Not About Sports

The people at MSU and in other the other gymnastic organizations aren't the only ones who received allegations and didn't find them credible.

The Meridian Township police didn't have enough evidence to press charges when they responded to a complaint against Nassar in 2004.

MSU's police department investigated the 2014 report on Nassar (at the same time of the Title IX investigation) and sent its findings to the Ingham County Prosecuting Attorney's Office for review.  

No charges were filed.

The exact same thing happened in the Jerry Sandusky case.

In 1998, Sandusky was accused of giving a naked bear hug to a child in a Penn State University (PSU) shower.  That child identified another child with whom Sandusky did the same. At the close of the investigation, Sandusky admitted doing the same with other children. 

Agents from Pennsylvania's child protective services, Jerry Lauro and John Miller, determined that even though Sandusky had given naked bear hugs to multiple children while showering, that he was not a danger to them.

Meanwhile, PSU police detective Ronald Schreffler felt there was enough evidence to charge Sandusky with some lesser offenses -- but the local district attorney in Centre County, Ray Gricar, determined there was not sufficient evidence to press charges.

The people on the front lines in Pennsylvania, paid with tax dollars to recognize child abuse and criminal behavior were deceived by Jerry Sandusky -- but their names are almost never mentioned and the public has no idea who they are.

Lauro, Miller, and Gricar could have stopped Sandusky in 1998 and saved 6 of the 10 Sandusky trial victims (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 9) from being victimized.   And they have been spared of any accountability by the media whatsoever because their failures wouldn't make the sports pages or national news.

And as I write this, the names of the Ingham County prosecutors and the Meridian police are not in headlines or in the media reports.  There is little doubt that their decisions about Nassar were more erroneous and more damaging than Lou Anna Simon's.

But the Nassar story has become a sports story and a national media story.

The witch hunt is in full swing.

Lou Anna Simon is about to be burnt at the stake -- just like Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno were.

The public, especially rival fans and rival media members, will all get in on the public shaming of Simon and MSU.

And as the rival fans and the gullible public throw the logs on the fire, their children or their neighbor's children will likely be victimized by another serial predator because this kind of thing could never happen in their community or at their University.

Right, Jemele Hill?

The lessons that should have been learned after the Sandusky scandal will not be learned this time around either because the media would rather burn a "witch" and get clicks than inform the public about how a serial predator can fool an entire community.

Another set of enablers has been identified.


  1. Agreed. I have seen much less national coverage of the Nassar case than there was for the Sandusky case. I think a major reason for that is there is no famous football coach to blame in the Nassar case.

    I believe a big driving force behind the Nassar case is the lawyers seeking settlements, just as in the Sandusky case. I wouldn't be surprised if Michigan State pays out more than twice what Penn State did.

    It also seems contrary to the legal system to have a hundred Nassar victims give victim impact statements at his sentencing hearing when he only pleaded guilty for seven victims. In the interest of justice, the judge should have limited victim impact statements to those seven victims.

    One thing I have not seen in the media coverage is whether Nassar's treatments were just made up or are legitimate treatments based on the medical literature. I suspect it is the latter but the media does not want to acknowledge that.

    1. Tim,
      You are right that the national coverage isn't as wall-to-wall as it was with Penn State because Nassar was not a coach, let alone a legendary one.

      And I also agree the civil attorneys are driving the witch hunt -- and going after the organizations that have the most money. But MSU isn't playing this like PSU did because Nassar wasn't used by MSU's Board to take down a famous coach & and University President. They are going to fight it.

      Fitzgerald had MSU as a client and he defended MSU. Freeh cleint was the Board of Trustees -- not the University. Hethrew Paterno, et al under the bus and helped lay the ground work for lawsuits.

      This is why so many alumni remain steadfast in holding the former Board members accountable for fiduciary breaches.

      I also tend to agree on the victim impact statements. In the Sandusky case, only 3 trial victims gave statement (IIRC).

      I believe Nassar's confession is sufficient enough evidence to conclude his treatments involving intimate touching of the genitals, buttocks, and breasts weren't treatments at all -- and were for his own gratification.

    2. In the lawsuits, MSU is claiming sovereign immunity as a state university so apparently they don't have the quasi-private university status of Penn State.

      Michigan seems to use sovereign immunity a lot so maybe it will work for MSU.

      MSU is also claiming they are not liable because the claims were made after the 3 year statute of limitations.

  2. Ray - I didn't mean to imply that Nassar was innocent, given his confession. What I meant was that parents and MSU officials could have reasonably believed that Nassar was performing legitimate medical treatments. There is a whole field that deals with pelvic floor physical therapy, and some treatments do include internal techniques.

    I saw it reported that he was considered a very effective gymnastics doctor, and some gymnasts had success with his treatments. Maybe it was just a placebo effect but he did seem to get results.

    MSU may try to fight it but I expect they will eventually pay settlements rather than risk much larger judgements in court. Even with the advantage of not having any MSU officials charged with child endangerment, I think the public mood has notably shifted after Harvey Weinstein and so many other sexual abuse/harassment cases.

    1. Tim,
      Sorry for the misunderstanding. People most definitely believed that Nassar's pelvic manipulation techniques were legitimate medical procedures. And I am sure that he mixed in legitimate techniques with the illegitimate ones...similar to how Jerry Sandusky would engage in playful wrestling and Polish soccer before groping his victims.

      You're probably right that MSU will settle to avoid protracted legal battles and the possibility of higher awards -- in some of the cases. But they probably won't roll out the red carpet for all comers like PSU did.

    2. Another tact that MSU might take is to fight the lawsuits in court and, even if they lose the lawsuits, appeal to the state Supreme Court for relief.

      That worked for VA Tech and their 2007 massacre. VA Tech settled with most of the families of massacre victims for peanuts. The two families who sued for wrongful death had the jury find VA Tech negligent and were awarded $8 million.

      The VA Supreme Court overturned that decision saying that VA Tech had no duty to warn students of a potential crime by a third party. If that was the case in PA, Penn State could have saved well over $100 million.

    3. Tim,

      As you mention that horrible VA Tech massacre it occurred to me just how many horrific, and incredibly political news-worthy tragedies keep happening at America's universities: The Kent State Massacre; University of Texas clock tower sniper/mass shooting; The VA Tech Massacre; The UVA fraternity gang rape (now known as a lie); The Nazi mass invasion of UVA, and the Nazi car terror murder of the altruistic social justice warrior, Heather Heyer, and the horrific kidnapping and murder of UVA student, Hanna Graham, along with the unfathomable torture and murder of UVA student, Otto Warmbier at the hands of North Korean savages. And of course, our infamous "Joe Paterno-facilitated child rape" in a PSU shower(now known to be a lie); and last but not least, MSU's 100 plus women and counting raped at the hands of osteopath, Larry Nassar.

      Such an inordinate amount of hate and violence to report on and read about at American universities. And these are only the ones off the top of my head. I've also left out all of the continuous anti-Semitic graffiti incidents that seem to keep happening a few times a year at most of our universities around the country.

      I wonder if all of these constant and continuing tragedies at our universities shape our perceptions in any way? Oh well, we're so lucky we live in America where our mainstream media keeps us informed of dangerous events, so we know exactly what things, what kinds of people, and what countries are a threat to our safety.

  3. Something to consider in this Nassar rape case is the fact that Larry Nassar is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, an osteopath. Osteopaths have sometimes been unfairly labeled by their counterparts in mainstream medicine as being just "over-glorified chiropractors". Their's is a field of medicine that leans more towards holistic healing and involves lots of "hands-on" manipulation of the body. Sometimes this manipulation may involve, or come close to, the patient's private parts. For this reason, some unscrupulous individuals may enter this field to achieve their own sexual gratification through administering legitimate osteopathic treatments. And conversely, some patients, if prompted or persuaded after the fact, may confuse the treatments with some sort of abuse even if the doctor was not achieving sexual pleasure from touching them.

    So how is the patient or the public supposed to know which doctors are getting "excited" during treatments, and which aren't? Unless there is an outward physical reaction from the male osteopath, such as an erection, then there is no way to know if the doctor is getting a perverse pleasure from treating someone. If there is no obvious attempt to interact with the patient sexually, gaining their sexual participation, then how is the patient to know they've been abused?

    Some may say, "well the FBI found child porn on Nassar's computer". Really? With all of the FBI's lies and mishandling of investigations, including but not limited to Louis Freeh the child rape cover-up artist, we're supposed to take their word in our complicit media at face value? Remember the hair analysis lies putting hundreds of innocent men in jail?

    God only knows what kind of agenda is possibly being forced with this Nassar case. It's too much like Bill Cosby and hundreds of women screaming rape 20 years later. How do we know all of this media-supplied rape hysteria isn't all government hoaxing to say, bring about a statute of limitations on rape allegations? How do we know this isn't just one more false accusation against an osteopath. Google search, "Osteopath, false accusations" and see just how often these types of doctors have come under attack in the media and lost their practices.

    The Rolling Stone "UVA rape" story was false, and so was the PSU "shower rape" story. So why not the Cosby and Nassar rape stories? Could they too be fabricated or intentionally mislabeled to generate cash for the global terrorist media?

    I'm not saying Larry Nassar didn't abuse his practice to seek some sick sexual thrill from touching the girls. It's entirely possible. But hundreds of girls, now women, screaming rape? If Nassar's techniques were accepted osteopathic treatments, then they can't be called abuse or rape by these women. It seems, after the fact, as Tim Berton pointed out, these women were led to outrage by corrupt attorneys telling them they were raped or abused and deserve to be rich and famous(social justice warriors) over it. Most of them probably had no idea they were "abused" until someone or some group started working on them. Wouldn't it have been better to tell them, "yes Nassar was a pervert, but he had the problem not you---you did not know he was sick. Nor did you give your consent for him to get excited". But no, there's no money in that approach for the sick globalist corporate media that lies to us daily.

    I'm waiting for Mr. Self-Righteous Vioxx death man, Kenny Frazier, to grandstand in some way promoting his big pharma over Osteopathic medicine.

  4. As an afterthought to my comment above: Look for Trump to say something stupid like, "my heart goes out to the young women that were victimized by Larry Nassar, but maybe they should not have worn such skimpy outfits". This will then open the door for criminal globalists Josh Shapiro, and/or Ken Frazier to tell Trump he is a backward neanderthal. Frazier will then go on to propose some kind of "world governance of university physicians and coaches to protect all women of the world".

    Totalitarianism is gradually imposed on a society, and in this case humanity, by first appealing to women's sense of social justice for themselves. Thus we have globalist Trump playing the closet chauvanist that has supposedly committed rape and thinks women should stay in their place.

    After much research, I am of the opinion that the "resist" movement and the D.C. and Philly women's marches are our broken government's way to manipulate women as a whole and bring in fascism disguised as "needed progressive" globalism.

    I urge all thinking women not to allow themselves to be manipulated by the scripted events occurring around the globe.